“Learning to Be Ourselves” Comments, Page 1

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2 Comments on “Learning to Be Ourselves”

  1. Hi Evan,

    Having read this article I was surprised to note I knew more about myself than I think I believe.

    Using your example of food, my growing up experience was much the same as yours, seemingly very limited or at least non-adventurous. However, I also had an experience at the age of 11 where I was put in charge of feeding my entire household for a month or more. All the particulars aren’t important, but I had to cook multiple types of dishes due to dietary restrictions, as my household of eight included six adults with a variety of ailments.

    While that experience at the time was more than stressful, it also gave me incentive to explore other options. As a teenager I had already purchased various ethnic cookbooks and was using them, even if I were the only one eating the results. One of the first really adventurous thing I made was a recipe from a regional Chinese country style cookbook, so unlike Chinese take out. There was a long list of ingredients, some of which I had never even heard, including tofu. It was 1970, I think, and certainly tofu was not then a household staple let alone in anyone’s vocabulary. Or at least not anyone I knew. I think that alone was enough to have me determined to learn, expand my horizons, feed tofu to whomever was willing to humor me, indulge me.

    I have to say the folks eating my first Chinese dish were less than enthusiastic, but that too was incentive for me. I did not want to be the limitations I grew up with, the limitations I saw at that table and many others since.

    Many tofu based dishes later, one could say it is now a staple in my home, even a fall back when I don’t have a lot of time or ambition to try something more complicated. And could even be said to be the substitution for some of the repetitious and uninspired food of my youth. But what a change it actually is and a statement about what I will and won’t eat now.

    Certainly I haven’t tasted hundreds and hundreds of things, but I have tried food from many, many cultures. Of all the things I have sampled, their are only four foods I just won’t eat and two of those are not due to taste, but texture!

    Really good thought provoking article, Evan. Lots of room for self exploration.


  2. Hi Barbara, you certainly got into cooking earlier than I did. About the only thing I learned to cook before I left home was a ginger cake. (It was quite a nice ginger cake). Thanks for your comment.

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